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Lessons Learned From Building a Successful House Flipping Business

house flipping, how to flip a house, home renovation, real estate, real estate investing, learn to flip a house, house flipping business

Mistakes happen.  The benefit to making those mistakes is that you then walk away with the opportunity to learn from them. Ever heard the phrase “fail fast”?  For the final post in this series to kick off the new year I am sharing a few of the most important lessons I have learned over the years.

A few of these lessons were uncomfortable to go through at the time but ultimately they were experiences that prepared me for the future.  

When the things you fear actually happen and you move past them, it’s an opportunity to show yourself that things can go wrong and still turn out okay.  So, here’s my personal list of lessons and how they contributed to growing and building despite small setbacks.  

  • There’s always something new to learn – Construction and permitting especially are constantly evolving.  Embrace the fact that each project will potentially come with new things that you’ve never heard before. There will be different accommodations for different cities as well so clarifying before you start as part of the project prep can help to minimize any delays.

  • Tough decisions are part of the process The first time I ever had to fire a contractor I stalled.  I gave them week after week after week to finish the last 10% of a job.  After 3 weeks I and another check in where no one was working, I called them and told them to consider the job finished. Was it uncomfortable? Yes, but it would have been worse to wait.    If you’re waiting for a sale and the profit then it’s important to you. I have a few sayings and one of them is “no one cares about your money like you do.”  When someone is keeping a flip from being sold they are tying up resources that are keeping other jobs from happening. After making this change we were able to get the house was listed within a week.
  • Change and Pivoting Are Key – Longevity and success in house flipping requires adjusting as the market changes.  There were a few pivotal points during which I made changes based upon what I was seeing in the market.  When home prices began to increase I assessed the areas I was buying in to see if the return was worth the additional risk of working in areas with a lower sales price.  Another significant change was how I was funding projects.  When I realized that if I wanted to flip more it was going to require a different perspective on lending.  This was the single most significant change that led to the growth of the business.  

  •  Writing always wins – When you have an agreement with someone, especially in regards to construction, get it in writing.  It’s the only way to make sure that expectations are clear.  If you don’t, you can easily find yourself near the end of a job wondering why something isn’t completed or wasn’t done the way you thought it would be done.  
  •  Overspending is never a good idea – on something small to try to compensate for something else – When you’re budgeting for renovations no amount of good can make up for something that is inherently problematic.  For example, lack of a bathroom adjacent to upper level bedrooms saved 5000.00 but it led to the house sitting on the market because it didn’t work for families who needed the upper level for children.
  •  Buying a house on a busy street is a big risk – Even in the best of neighborhoods a busy street is undesirable.  Not only is it something that can never be changed it immediately decreases the pool of buyers who would consider it.  I’ve proven this and will never make this mistake again.  After watching this house for months on the market and seeing the price drop a few times I decided to check it out.  Immediately I knew it had potential but there were a few “odd” things about the house too.  To top it off, it was located on one of the busiest streets in the city.  I figured if the renovations were great and the house was priced accordingly it would work.  Except that it didn’t.  Thank goodness for a lot of margin that didn’t result in a loss but definitely a lesson worth not repeating.
  •  Having a 50/50 business partner – When I first started flipping houses I had a business partner.  In the beginning, everything was fine.  However as we progressed and started to look at growing and expanding the business there were some differences that made it apparent that we had different paths. However you start a business, you always have the ability to change,  Nothing is permanent especially if it no longer works for the vision you have for your business. 

Learning to fix and flip houses is a skill and business that can lend itself to success in other areas of real estate and renovation.  Having this type of knowledge is valuable not only from a real estate investment perspective but if you’re interested in design or in working with clients in real estate, the possibilities are yours to choose from.  


I’m Ready to Flip, What’s Next?

Ready to take that next step when it comes to flipping?

That’s why I’ve got additional resources to help you get the information you need to move forward on creating your flipping life.

Make sure you have the Fixer Upper Checklist so you know which areas are key to added value in a home.

There are several videos available on finding houses, renovations, and funding on the Threshold Homes YouTube Channel. Check out your favorite flipping topics and new videos weekly.

You can’t close a successful and profitable flip unless you start. What is your biggest challenge with getting started house flipping? Let me know. It may be an area I’ve also had questions about myself. I’m here to help so drop me a DM.

Want to buy a property and renovate it?

Get my checklist that will help you — 8 Things I look for When Purchasing a Home. Just click here to download it.

Love before and afters?

Follow us on IG @thresholdhomesmn and FB  @thresholdhomesmn to see the projects we’re working on. And for more ideas on renovating & restoring fixer-uppers!

Looking to buy a house to renovate? Check out the fixer upper checklist to help you find the house with the most “flip” potential.

For more inspiration follow me on Pinterest @thresholdhomesmn

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